filmingchicagoThe age of “peak TV” in the entertainment industry is good news for film crew jobs in Illinois, according to the Illinois Film Office.

The Illinois Film Office estimates $599 million was spent in 2016 on films, commercials and television productions in the state – a 51 percent increase over the year before. That included 345 television, commercial and film projects for the year.

The boom in filming has brought a flow of steady employment, particularly behind the camera. These jobs include positions for the cast, crew and office staff.

Chicago PD, or [Chicago] Fire, or [Chicago] Med -- or Empire, you’re looking at 10 months of consistent employment, particularly behind the camera,” Illinois Film Office Director Christine Dudley said to Northern Public Radio. “For every television program, you are looking at 300 people behind the camera building the sets, running the cameras, dressing the sets, finding the costumes, doing the hair and make-up, and special effects, on and on and on.”

Illinois offers a production tax incentive program in order to draw in television, commercial and film projects. It provides a 30 percent tax credit for productions on qualified expenses on Illinois goods, services and wages. Created to help spur job growth in the film industry, the film tax is currently scheduled for legislative renewal in 2021.

Illinois is also the only state to require a diversity reporting requirement. Productions interested in filming in Illinois must show proof of a best-faith effort to hire women and minorities as a part of the crew and office staff in order to receive the tax credit.

This past year, more than a dozen television shows and movies were filmed in Illinois including Death Wish, Empire, Sense8, Shameless and more.